Two nominees have been added to the slate of six candidates for the next Episcopal Church's bishop suffragan for federal ministries.
The bishop suffragan for federal ministries, formally known in the church's constitution as the bishop suffragan for the Armed Forces, is responsible for the pastoral care and oversight of U.S. Armed Forces chaplains, military personnel and families; chaplains in federal hospitals, prisons and correctional facilities; and for the eucharistic communities related to military installations.
Current Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries George E. Packard is scheduled to retire in May.
Nominated by petition, pending successful background checks, are:
- The Rev. Dr. Robert G. Certain, 62, rector, Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Marietta, Georgia, and founding president, Care For The Troops Inc., Atlanta, Georgia; and
- The Very Rev. Richard James Martindale, 53, rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Columbus, Georgia.
They join the original slate that was announced Feb. 8 and is also pending successful completion of background checks. That slate includes:
- The Rev. Carl Andrews, 61, U.S. Air Force colonel and chaplain stationed at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas;
- The Rev. James Magness, 63, canon for mission and diocesan administration, Diocese of Southern Virginia;
- The Rev. Babs Meairs, 59, field coordinator, Office of the Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries;
- The Rev. C. Christopher Thompson, 56, rector, Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church, Virginia Beach, Virginia;
- The Rev. John Weatherly, 58, Joint Force Headquarters chaplain and rector, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Alexandria, Virginia; and
- The Rev. Carl W. Wright, 50, U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and Air Force Global Strike Command chaplain stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base, Bossier City, Louisiana.
The election for Packard's successor will be held March 24 during the March 19-24 meeting of the House of Bishops at Camp Allen, Texas. Pending successful completion of the consent process, the consecration will occur June 19 at Washington National Cathedral, with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori presiding, according to a release posted here by the church's Office of Public Affairs.
The original nominating committee included: Charlotte Greeson (U.S. Navy), Chair Alice J. Harshey-Bischoff (Air Force Reserve), Linda Leibhart (Army Reserve), Thomas Rardin (Veterans Administration chaplain), Sarah Shirley (Air National Guard chaplain), Mary Staley (U.S. Air Force, retired), Edward Thielen (U.S. Army, retired), Elizabeth Walker (federal prison chaplain) and Christine Waweru (U.S. Army chaplain).
In addition, a special committee appointed by Jefferts Schori is functioning as would a standing committee during a diocesan bishop election process. The special committee includes Central Pennsylvania Bishop Nathan Baxter (chair), Connecticut Bishop Suffragan Laura Ahrens, Puerto Rico Bishop David Alvarez, Washington Bishop John Chane, Texas Bishop Suffragan Rayford High, West Missouri Bishop Barry Howe and Olympia Bishop Greg Rickel. The Rev. Conrad Selnick of the Diocese of Ohio is the search consultant.